ISRAEL’S RELATIONS WITH THE U.S. STRAINED

That’s the best joke I heard in years! Israel likes to act like the tough guy every now and again, but in the end always winds up doing just as Uncle Sam says. Why?
Because like any college student who’s parents (the rents) are paying the bills for the dorm, the cellphone and the food, they have the final say.
Money talks! In the case of Israel, it’s lots of money that comes pouring in annually from the States…. definitely with strings attached.
Israel likes to play the tough guy….. but as long as they are dependant on foreign aid for their very existance, in the end they will dance to the pipers tune.

US PRAISES EU FOR OFFERING AID TO PALESTINIANS

OK…. I’m at a loss. I must have missed something in the media over the past day or two…
The last I heard the Bushtards were not going to give any financial aid to the Palestinian Authority since the election of Hamas.
Ms. Rice has been prancing all over the Middle East attempting to get Arab nations to do the same.
The European Union just promised to grant the Palestinians 145 million dollars…
and the US praises them? I think it’s great… but what did I miss?
It seems that AlJazeera is just as surprised as I am….

ANOTHER DAY….ANOTHER SCANDAL


Every day the utter contempt that the Bushtards have for the American people comes to light. Cheney was quite aware of what was going on at Haliburton, in fact he profited from it quite nicely. Dubya was aware of this before making him the second in command. Nothing can justify these figures in a day where there are so many domestic problems facing the American people, nothing!
How long will it be before the people wake up and see what is really going on? How long will it be before they are thrown out of office and a real government…’OF THE PEOPLE AND BY THE PEOPLE’ gets elected? I think that time is way overdue.

HAMAS SETS TERMS FOR RECOGNITION OF ISRAEL

“We do not have any feelings of animosity towards Jews. We do not wish to throw them into the sea. All we seek is to be given our land back, not to harm anybody”

Ismail Haniya,
Palestinian prime minister-designate

There is a glitter of hope this morning… one of the parties in question is at least willing to negotiate terms of recognition.
Ever since the election of Hamas to the Palestinian Legislature, both the Israeli Government and the Bushtards have declared that they will never negotiate with them.
It will be interesting to see what the attitudes will be now.
Stubborness and non recognition of each other will only keep the situation the way it is… UGLY!
Killings daily on both sides, hatred and distrust. There is a chance now to change all of that.

So far, Israel’s position on these terms is one of caution.

DON’T TREAT THEM LIKE MONSTERS


Uri Avnery, one of Israel’s most respected elder statesmen presents his views on the Hamas victory in this article from HaAretz.
It’s unfortunate that he no longer is a member of our Knesset (Parliament), we need a few voices of reason there….
Hopefully we might have some after the March 28th election here.

ABBAS: I’LL RESIGN IF HAMAS DOESN’T RECOGNIZE ISRAEL

The following is taken from today’s on-line edition of the Jerusalem Post. It is not surprising, but should lift some eyebrows in the Bushtard empire as well as in Europe… It will be interesting to see what developes as a result of this…

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Friday night in an interview to the British television channel ITV-1, which will be aired Sunday, that he would resign if Hamas refused to recognize Israel and continued its terrorist activity.

“If I can’t do my job the way I see fit, I’ll resign,” Abbas declared.

The PA chairman also urged Israel and international entities not to “push Hamas into a corner,” and to appeal to third parties, such as Russia, to convince Hamas to moderate its position, Israel Radio reported Saturday.

Abbas said that he believed that the planned visit to Russia by a number of Hamas leaders could “help,” and described Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, whom he recently charged with forming a new cabinet, as a “flexible diplomat.”

US President George Bush continued his tough talk towards Hamas Friday evening, calling on the organization to commit to becoming a political organization or remaining a terror group.

“The international community must continue to make clear to Hamas that democratically elected leaders cannot have one foot in the camp of democracy and one foot in the camp of terror,” Bush said in an address to the American Legion vetrans’ group in Washington DC.

Bush reiterated that Hamas’s chances of receiving international financial assistance were dependant on their willingness to reject terror and recognize the existance of Israel, demands that Israel also has made from the organization.

“The leaders of Hamas have a choice to make. If they want the help of America and the international community to build a prosperous, independent Palestinian state, they must recognize Israel, disarm, reject terrorism, and work for lasting peace,” Bush said.

The EU is expected to approve the release of tens of millions of dollars next week to help Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ caretaker administration, diplomats said Friday, but will postpone a decision on further aid after Hamas takes power.

Options the bloc’s foreign ministers are considering include $48 million in new aid to help run utilities such as power supply and waste collection, and authorizing the World Bank to unblock around $60 million to pay salaries of Palestinian Authority employees.

The money is designed to keep the Palestinian Authority afloat after Israel’s decision to withhold $50 million a month in tax funds following Hamas’ election victory.

“The concept is to be able to help the Palestinian people, to be able to help the Palestinian Authority during this transition period,” said EU spokeswoman Cristina Gallach, who declined to give details of what the ministers may decide Monday.

EU officials said there would be no decision at Monday’s meeting on funding to the Palestinians after a Hamas government takes power.

“Later on we will evaluate what is the government doing, what the composition of the government is,” Gallach said. “What we want is to help as much as possible the Palestinian president, the key interlocutor and somebody we have dealt with for a long time.”

Switching the flow of money away from the government to Abbas’ office would reverse the position taken by the EU when Yasser Arafat headed the Palestinian Authority and the bloc preferred to use its funding to strengthen the government. Some European officials are wary of such a move because it could alienate Palestinians who voted overwhelming for Hamas against Abbas’ Fatah movement.

The EU has concurred with America’s stance that funding to a Hamas government will depend on it recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and accepting the internationally backed peace process.

The Quartet group of Middle East peacemakers – the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the EU – agreed this week to support the interim government until Hamas takes over.

“We will continue to support the Palestinian Authority until the new government is formed and we have tried to find the necessary resources to do that,” EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said after a telephone conference call that included UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lvrov.

Here are two more articles on this matter, one from the Post, the other from HaAretz.

ANTI DEFAMATION LEAGUE DEFAMES MUSLIMS

The ADL, of all groups, has withdrawn their call to halt construction of the Tolerance Museum in Jerusalem.
This is nothing less than disgraceful! A Muslim cemetery was discovered at the site during construction. The ADL claims that the bones can be handled properly,as not to upset the Muslim community.
The only way to handle bones properly is to allow them to rest in what was meant to be their ‘final resting place’.
The double standards displayed by the ADL and other such ‘liberal’ groups makes me sick!


The Great Mosque of the Golconda Tombs, with calligraphy by Saleh Muhammad from Bahrain. It’s a tradition found in many Muslim cemeteries: the idea is to let the sound of prayer echo over the tombs through eternity.

FBI ‘MONITORED’ KAHANE

Just what does that mean? A man obsessed with hate, a man committed to the destruction of the Arabs, a man whose racism caused untold suffering to Blacks in the New York area for years…. his actions were monitored by the FBI?
Does that mean that J.Edgar Hoover sat back and watched him? I suspect (always did) that his activities were in fact financed by the FBI.
A man whose criminal activities resulted in many of his followers winding up in jail,where they belonged, yet he was never charged with a crime.
Strange!
His final reward came in New York when he had his head blown off… a punishment quite fitting to a man so obsessed with hate. Hate breeds hate… there is no other way to look at this situation.
May the memory of this man be erased from history and may we look forward to a world without hate… SOON!

THE KILLING CONTINUES

OK… the games are over… back to the ugly realities facing Israelis and Palestinians… Israeli forces once again opened fire on a group of Palestinian youths, killing one.
As we say at our Passover Sedar…”DAYENU”… ENOUGH ALREADY!!

How long must this madness go on?
Here is an Arab perspective of why Hamas must be recognised by Israel. Only when that happens will there be hope tht the killings will stop. This cannot go on!

Cartoons are not a new media to the political world. Here is one Cartoon dated at the time Sharon became Israels Prime Minister. It is still valid today… unfortunately. DAYENU!

TAG…..YOU’RE IT !

The Blogworld as I know it changed this evening… I’ve been tagged! It was inevitable… you blog… you become friends with fellow bloggers…. and ZONK!!! they get you when you’re not looking.
Scottage did it to me… So now I’m obligated to tag four others….
But first I have to answer the following questions… then I’ll name the four I’m tagging. They will have to answer the same questions… and tag four other bloggers. This should be done on their own site… but link me to it when you do…
So… here goes… the questions;

1: Black and White or Color; how do you prefer your movies?
Definitely color.

2: What is the one single subject that bores you to near-death?
Anything to do with tennis.

3: MP3s, CDs, Tapes or Records: what is your favorite medium
for prerecorded music?

CD’s

4: You are handed one first class trip plane ticket to anywhere in the world and ten million dollars cash. All of this is yours provided that you leave and not tell anyone where you are going … Ever. This includes family, friends, everyone. Would you take the money and ticket and run?
bye……

5: Seriously, what do you consider the world’s most pressing issue now?
Global hatred

6: How would you rectify the world’s most pressing issue?
Unfortunately, I think it will eventually come to war, and much sooner than any of us would want.

Cultural exchanges,organised tours to foreign ountries,basically…any kind of ‘getting to know you’ activity.

7: You are given the chance to go back and change one thing in your life; what would that be?
I would not have cashed in the private pension plans I had from various jobs in the past.

8: You are given the chance to go back and change one event in world history, what would that be?
Hard to say…there were so many…prevention of wars..all of them.

9: A night at the opera, or a night at the Grand Ole’ Opry –Which do you choose?
Grand Ole’ Opry for sure..

10: What is the one great unsolved crime of all time you’d like to solve?
Who killed JR?

11: One famous author can come to dinner with you. Who would that be, and what would you serve for the meal?
Same answer as Scotts… Ernest Hemmingway… but roast lamb instead of swordfish.

12: You discover that John Lennon was right, that there is no hell below us, and above us there is only sky — what’s the first immoral thing you might do to celebrate this fact?
If I answer this the person I’m planning to do it with will know… so mums the word!

OK, so time to tag 4 other people. Well, here goes, and everyone check these blogs out, they’re all great..

Latour


Renegade Eye

Sam Rocha

Rob

Have fun….

CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT


The State of California, leader of legal murders, is being faced with a problem. It’s Governor who seems to love putting prisoners to death by lethal injection is being challenged by ethical questions.
Yesterday, an execution was postponed because certain doctors refused to take part in it. They claimed that the method used causes extreme pain to the victim, moments before death occurs.
This they say is a violation of the Eigth Amendment, which guarantees citizens the right not to endure cruel and unusual punishment.
Pain is cruel and unusual punishment? What about death itself? I cannot see the logic of the doctors arguments regarding the pain… when the death penalty itself is not being questioned.
Most of the civilised world has done away with the death penalty. Either the United States is not a part of that world, or they just don’t care what others think. It’s time to look into this question… time to change the laws regarding the death penalty…. and definitely time to get rid of the Governor of California!

HAMAS FORGING AHEAD TO FORM NEW GOVERNMENT

PA Chair Abbas handing Haniyeh a letter asking him to form next gov’t, Tuesday in Gaza.

Despite efforts by the Israeli and American governments to stop Hamas from forming a government in Palestine, plans are going ahead to do just that.

As I write this, Dubyas sweet Condoleezza is in the regeon campaining to isolate Hamas from the rest of the Arab world.
When will she,Dubya and the Israeli government come to the realisation that Hamas IS going to form the new government of Palestine?
When will they accept the fact that Hamas WAS elected by the majority of Palestinian voters?
I haven’t seen this particular protest sign in a long time… maybe it’s time to get them out again… ‘YANKEE GO HOME!’

GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PAST RETURN TO HAUNT DICK CHENEY

To say the least, the man is a pathetic creature. Chosen by the Bushtards to be the second in command is a fact that many people question.
I hesitated to comment over the past few weeks on the ‘shooting incident’. As far as I was concerned, that was a non issue, totally exaggerated by the media to take away from the real problems facing the American people.
BUT… Cheney’s involvement in the Enron case IS a real issue, one that seems to have been forgotten…. until today. This particular article does not mention Cheney, but his involvement was
not a secret and must not be forgotten.
Anyone that thinks this man is honest is either kidding themself or is totally unaware of his history.
This is the man that Dubya handpicked as the second in command… what does this say about the Commander in Chief?
Yet…. as far as they are all concerned, it is Hamas and Chavez that are the major problems in the world today….
How pleasant it must be to be that STUPID!

FREEDOM OF SPEECH?

There has been much talk over the past few weeks about freedom of speech. Many people were disturbed by the fact that others claimed the cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad should not have been published.
Their publication resulted in violent protests throughout the Muslim world. This resulted in mass condemnations of Islam, reopening racist arguments that Islam is equivilant to terrorism.
Yesterday, a court in Austria sentenced a man to three years in prison for claiming that Auchewitz did not have gas chambers.
Where is the outrage? Where are the riots? Is this not a blatant violation of this man’s freedom of speech?
Or is it not in the interests of the western press to condemn the sentence of one man who broke one law? This raises the question of when is it ok to violate freedom of speech? Is it only when Muslims are not involved? There seems not to be a balance in the logic here..
I am not saying that this man should not be punished, he should be… the statements he made hurt many people, including myself, whose entire family on my father’s side died in the very gas chambers of Auchewitz which he claimed did not exist.
All I am asking here is for people to examine closely what they mean by freedom of speech and where does one ‘draw the line’ when it is questioned.

"DON’T MESS WITH ME CONDOLEEZZA…"

“Don’t mess with me, Condoleezza. Don’t mess with me, girl,” Sounds like the words to a new country and western tune…but, unfortunately it’s not….
Ms. Meddler is at it again… puttin her two cents in where it just don’t belong. Dubya’s emmisary on world affairs is just going too far and just might cost the American people a cozy, warm home next winter.

The warning comes days after Rice described Venezuela as one of the “biggest problems” for the Western Hemisphere and promised to develop regional alliances as part of an “inoculation” strategy to expose what the State Department calls anti-democratic behavior in Venezuela.

Things must be just great in the States at the present time. All their energies seem to be going towards screwing up everything in Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Venezuela…
Care to add to my list? It’s open….

ISRAEL HAS MADE ITS BED…

But how long will it be able to sleep in it? The NON elected Prime Minister of Israel has made up his mind… there will be no contact with the newly ELECTED Palestinian legislature.
Mahmoud Abbas had the following to say on the matter;
“If there is anyone who thinks that this kind of measure will force our people to surrender, then they are deluding themselves,” he said, warning Israel not to use the Hamas electoral victory “as a pretext to exercise more aggression against our people.”

Abbas added that he will continue to work toward security for the Palestinian people and said he rejects any attempt by Israel to expel Muslims from Jerusalem. Palestinians have said they envision a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

“Israeli stubbornness regarding Jerusalem will not stop us from realizing our objective, which is the establishment of two states, Palestine and Israel,” Abbas said.

The man in the picture, Ehud Olmert, is making the biggest mistake in his life. Pressure from the Bushtards had a great deal to do with his decision, but in the end, it will be the Israeli and Palestinian people that will suffer because of it.
Hopefully this and other issues regarding the Palestinians will be looked at differently after the Israel election on the 28th of March.

A NATION IMPRISONED

There’s an old American cowboy song that was made famous by
Roy Rogers… Don’t Fence Me In… here are the lyrics;

Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above,
Don’t fence me in.
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love,
Don’t fence me in.
Let me be by myself in the evenin’ breeze,
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees,
Send me off forever but I ask you please,
Don’t fence me in.

Just turn me loose, let me straddle my old saddle
Underneath the western skies.
On my Cayuse, let me wander over yonder
Till I see the mountains rise.

I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences
And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
And I can’t look at hovels and I can’t stand fences
Don’t fence me in.

Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies,
Don’t fence me in.
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love,
Don’t fence me in.
Let me be by myself in the evenin’ breeze
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever but I ask you please,
Don’t fence me in

Just turn me loose, let me straddle my old saddle
Underneath the western skies
On my Cayuse, let me wander over yonder
Till I see the mountains rise.
Ba boo ba ba boo.

I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences
And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
And I can’t look at hobbles and I can’t stand fences
Don’t fence me in.
No.
Poppa, don’t you fence me in

Recent actions against
the Palestinian people by the Israeli government brought that
old song to mind…

First they tried to block Hamas from running…
Then they tried to block the election from taking place…
Then they refused to recognise that Hamas won a majority of the seats…
Then they tried to block in the swearing in ceremony…
Now they are closing off the areas where Palestinians live,
not allowing them to enter or leave…
When will it stop? When will Israel realise that Palestine
is here to stay? When will they realise that Hamas was
democratically elected by the Palestinians to represent them?
The sooner Israel and the Bushtards come to this realisation,
the sooner they can all get down to Peace talks…and…
THE SOONER THE BETTER!

AMERICAN CHURCHES DENOUNCE WAR IN IRAQ

The following is a report from the Associated Press… it’s definitely worth the read….

By BRIAN MURPHY, AP Religion Writer Sat Feb 18, 1:05 PM ET

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil – A coalition of American churches sharply denounced the U.S.-led war in Iraq on Saturday, accusing Washington of “raining down terror” and apologizing to other nations for “the violence, degradation and poverty our nation has sown.”

The statement, issued at the largest gathering of Christian churches in nearly a decade, also warned the United States was pushing the world toward environmental catastrophe with a “culture of consumption” and its refusal to back international accords seeking to battle global warming.
“We lament with special anguish the war in Iraq, launched in deception and violating global norms of justice and human rights,” said the statement from representatives of the 34 U.S. members of World Council of Churches. “We mourn all who have died or been injured in this war. We acknowledge with shame abuses carried out in our name.”

The World Council of Churches includes more than 350 mainstream Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox churches; the Roman Catholic Church is not a member. The U.S. groups in the WCC include the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Methodist Church, several Orthodox churches and Baptist denominations, among others.

The statement is part of widening religious pressure on the Bush administration, which still counts on the support of evangelical churches and other conservative denominations but is widely unpopular with liberal-minded Protestant congregations.

The Very Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky, the moderator for the U.S. group of WCC members, said the letter was backed by the leaders of the churches but was not cleared by lower-level bodies. He predicted friction within congregations about the tone of the message.

“There is much internal anguish and there is division,” said Kishkovsky, ecumenical officer of the Orthodox Church of America. “I believe church leaders and communities are wrestling with the moral questions that this letter is addressing.”

On Friday, the U.S. National Council of Churches — which includes many WCC members — released a letter appealing to Washington to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and saying reports of alleged torture violated “the fundamental Christian belief in the dignity of the human person.”

The two-page statement from the WCC group came at the midpoint of a 10-day meeting of more than 4,000 religious leaders, scholars and activists discussing trends and goals for major Christian denominations for the coming decades. The WCC’s last global assembly was in 1998 in Zimbabwe — just four months after al-Qaida staged twin bombings at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

“Our country responded (to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks) by seeking to reclaim a privileged and secure place in the world, raining down terror on the truly vulnerable among our global neighbors … entering into imperial projects that seek to dominate and control for the sake of national interests,” said the statement. “Nations have been demonized and God has been enlisted in national agendas that are nothing short of idolatrous.”

The Rev. Sharon Watkins, president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), worried that some may interpret the statement as undermining U.S. troops in Iraq.

“We honor their courage and sense of duty, but … we, as people of faith, have to say to our brothers and sisters, `We are so profoundly sorry,’” Watkins said.

The message also accused U.S. officials of ignoring warnings about climate change and treating the world’s “finite resources as if they are private possessions.” It went on to criticize U.S. domestic policies for refusing to confront racism and poverty.

“Hurricane Katrina revealed to the world those left behind in our own nation by the rupture of our social contract,” said the statement.

The churches said they had “grown heavy with guilt” for not doing enough to speak out against the Iraq war and other issues. The statement asked forgiveness for a world that’s “grown weary from the violence, degradation and poverty our nation has sown.”

GET YOUR LONG WOOLIES OUT AMERICA


Hugo Chavez has warned he could cut off oil exports to the United States if Washington goes “over the line” in what he has said are attempts to destabilize his left-leaning government.
Ever since he was democratically elected President (a concept totally alien to the Bushtards apparently) the U.S. government has been looking for ways and means to topple his administration.
Well, the choice is yours Dubya… leave them alone or freeze your asses off! The message is loud and clear!

ELECTRONIC SWEARING IN CEREMONY

In an unprecedented effort to stiffle democracy, Israel has refused to allow members of Hamas the RIGHT to travel to Ramallah from the Gaza Strip to attend a swearing in ceremony for Palestine’s new Legislature.
The silence from the United Nations is deafening on this particular issue…
Again.. Israel MUST accept the fact that Hamas won the election in Palestine. Israel has only ONE realistic choice at this point, to ACCEPT that as a fact and to negotiate with the new Legislature that WILL be sworn in despite it’s efforts to stop that from happening.

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